The Joy Of Loving

When I was a small-sized girl, I had a big-sized heart. An overflowing heart. A heart abundant with free-flowing love. There was no idea in me yet of being too full of love, of my love being too much for others. I just was love. Love in a small-sized girl's body.

And then, as I grew older and my brain started functioning in a way that makes up ideas and stories about the world and who we are in it, I noticed that my big, billowing heart made others uncomfortable. I noticed that my infinite love was too much for others because they had closed the door of their own infinite loving hearts when they were small-sized humans. And so I made up stories and ideas about who I was and how I needed to be in response to shut-door hearts. And in making up those stories and ideas, I did the only thing I could see to do. It was too painful to keep billowing love to shut-door hearts, so I did what they did. I closed my big billowing heart to love. I shut the door. I learned to exist in a world where love was, and is, abundantly plentiful, but few trust this love. I, too, became a human with a shut-door heart. My shut-door heart could still offer love, but it didn't billow unconditionally anymore. It didn't simply flow with abundance. And I stopped letting love in -- not completely. I allowed a survival amount of love in. We all need it to survive so our shut-door hearts have small cracks where love can still seep in.

And then, slowly by slowly, life began to chip away at this shut door. Life sent lovers and babies and beautiful sunsets to chip away at this door. And over the years, life continued to pry at it when it laid grief at my feet to remind me of what was behind the door. My love for the people I've lost was so great that I couldn't help but begin to soften my defenses and remember that the source of my own love is within me. Love is good at doing so.

And then, I met someone who would teach me well. He taught me that my love is beautiful even though he cannot receive it because it wants to whittle away at the shut-door of his own heart. He taught me that even though he feels he must keep his own door shut to my love, that this has nothing to do with the beauty of my love. He taught me that he delights in witnessing my becoming more loving and open and real, and that I can open the door to my heart even wider because his shut-door has nothing to do with the beauty of my big heart and its capacity to love. His shut door is not personal. It has nothing to do with me and the infinite source of love within me. It is how he is choosing to navigate this world.

And so it is. Others' shut-door hearts have nothing to do with our capacity to love. And our shut-door hearts have nothing to do with others' capacity to love. While others might choose to shut their door, we can choose to open ours wider. And we can do that because we've found the source of our love has always been within us. It flows out to the world from within us and whether or not someone chooses to open their heart in response is up to them and whatever ideas and stories they've built up along the way.

And so, this billowing heart is opening again in its ability to flow unobstructed, and in its capacity to receive the love offered to it. I'm noticing things are a bit rusty. I'm not yet fluent again in the joy of loving like I was when I was a small-sized girl. But now, as a full-sized woman, I'm learning the cadence and rhythm of the joy of loving through my grown billowing heart. And I'm letting the old ideas and stories burn away so that I can both offer love and receive love. It is not easy to do. We have to feel the old pain that's been lodged in the shut-door. Yet, it is doable and it is worth it.